This week I’m in Kuwait City, looking at how to improve their tourism statistics. Whilst the country may not be one of the most obvious when you think of holiday destinations, it is looking to expand its tourism product, and it has a fascinating and beautiful city centre with some captivating buildings that would thrill architects for starters!
But that’s not why I’m posting this. Whilst compiling a list of all the tourism statistics the country does have (and it’s surprising what is available: accommodation occupancy, visitor arrivals, visitors to museums, and airport passenger/airplane arrivals and departures to name a few) it is abundantly clear that the only real way to organise this lot into something that will be easily accessible to the Kuwaitis for planning, marketing and monitoring the sector is an online database. It staggers me that so many countries still don’t do this. Within a few weeks we can have this data online and organised in such a way that it is working for them, and giving them something back from all the effort of collecting the numbers.
I hear from my friends in Saudi and Oman that there is talk of a regional tourism statistics database…now that would be a great step forward. And what better place to do it than amongst the forward-thinking GCC countries.